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Nursing School Partnership Addresses Neonatal Needs in Hawaii, California

Monday June 15, 2009
Mary Boland, dean of the University of Hawaii School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene, left, and Kathleen Dracup, dean of the University of California at San Francisco School of Nursing.
Mary Boland, dean of the University of Hawaii School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene, left, and Kathleen Dracup, dean of the University of California at San Francisco School of Nursing.
(Courtesy of University of California)
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Nursing schools at the University of Hawaii and the University of California at San Francisco are collaborating on the NeoRISK Project, a master’s degree in nursing program designed to strengthen the workforce of neonatal nurse practitioners.

NeoRISK aims to provide acutely ill and convalescing infants access to specialized healthcare in the hospital and during the transition from hospital to home across community and rural settings. There is a shortage of neonatal nurse practitioners in both Hawaii and California.

“Prior to the NeoRISK Project, there was no way for us to ‘grow our own’ neonatal nurse practitioners,” says Vickie Niederhauser RN, DrPH, project director for NeoRISK. “Up to now, local hospitals were forced to recruit from out of state. The NeoRISK Project will increase the number of NNPs familiar with local values and lifestyles.”


Standing, left to right: Stephanie Marshall, director for community partnerships, UH school of nursing; Cheryl Griffith, neonatal nurse practitioner student; Vickie Niederhauser, interim associate dean for academic affairs, UH; Jan Hamada, neonatal nurse practitioner student; Maya Kaneyasu, neonatal nurse practitioner student. Seated, left to right: Dana Ing, faculty, UH; Mary Boland, dean, UH; Kathleen Dracup, dean, UCSF; and Mary Lynch, advanced practice pediatric and neonatal nursing, UCSF.
(Courtesy of University of California)
Kathleen Dracup, RN DNSc, dean of the School of Nursing at UCSF, is proud of this partnership. “The NeoRISK Project brought together individuals in nursing and academia who understand the importance of connecting the expertise of advanced-care nurses with people who have limited healthcare access,” she says. “I look forward to the positive impact these specialized nurses will have on the health and well-being of our youngest patients.”